The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried

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  • Curt Lemon asks the dentist to pull his healthy tooth. He feels he keeps his reputation intact and shows that he is brave up against anything. By doing this it was proof that he was not scared of the dentist. Once he made himself look like a coward by being scared of the dentist he could not let that stand so he went through the process to show he was not scared or ashamed of himself.
  • Man vs. Society
  • O'Brien emphasizes that the man he killed was not a Communist but a "citizen and a soldier." He did not want to think of the men as being evil. He wanted them to be known as a good citizen and soldier for the country. He was doing his duty and defending his land it was not that he hated his enemies. O'Brien was appalled by his actions, however it was normal for him to feel this way because of what he did.
  • Man vs. Man
  • Kiowa's reaction to the death of Lavender's seems to be the least emotional, although he is the most affected by the death. He repeatedly described how quickly Lavender's body fell with the weight of the things he carried. He even wished he could share the pain and grief of the cross but he is unable to feel those emotions towards the death.
  • Man vs. Self
  • Norman Bowker hanged himself with a jump rope, in the locker room of the YMCA. His mother told O'Brien that Norman did it this way because of the quiet boy he was and he did not want to bother anyone. For many soldiers, home was more of a traumatic emotional change than the war. Soldiers that were a part of the war had felt alone and had been stuck with the terrifying memories still in their heads.
  • Man vs. Self
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